Call to protect Shropshire's key green sites in planning shake-up

A south Shropshire councillor is writing to the secretary of state for housing amid concerns about the future of the county’s green sites if new planning proposals become law.

The Shropshire Hills AONB is one of the county's major tourist attractions
The Shropshire Hills AONB is one of the county's major tourist attractions

Vivienne Parry, Shropshire councillor for Ludlow South is writing to Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government about the future of key environmental sites such as areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs) and sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs).

Vivienne said: “I have been very concerned about the direction that house building is taking in our county for some time.

"What is particularly concerning about this plan is that it seems to give developers a free hand to build on any allocated land without needing any process at all.

"In Shropshire, this means that the allocated sites, now being consulted on, could have houses built without regard for local need.

“My further concern is that it doesn’t take this opportunity to enhance protection given to our key green spaces such as SSSIs at a time when research suggests that 30 per cent of these sites are being degraded by adjoining developments mainly by lack of enforcement.”

Mrs Parry said there are more than 110 SSSIs in Shropshire, covering a whole range of endangered habitats, and Natural England, who are in charge of enforcing them, has had its budget cut.

She said: “I am also concerned about the future of our AONB and its role in protecting our landscape. The Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty covers almost a quarter of the land area of Shropshire.

“We really need to get planning right for Shropshire. We need a regime that preserves our landscape and biodiversity whilst at the same time addressing the needs of local families.”

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